Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bratislava in a nutshell

Bratislava has been QUITE the adventure this weekend! We started off with the Slovak Philharmonic, which I absolutely loved. Yes, it was no Vienna Phil, but it was still amazing!!!! The conductor was Kenichiro Kobayashi and he was the most adorable guy ever. He was a very typical Japanese man with his mannerisms. At the end of the concert, he made each section stand up individually to acknowledge them, and I know that if he had the time, he would have shaken hands and acknowledged each and every member of the orchestra. He truly was a humble man and I admired that very much.
My favorite piece they performed was Requiem for Earthquake Disaster composed by Saegusa. This piece was written in memory of those who died in the Japan earthquake several years ago, Saegusa's sister was one of those people. It had beautiful cello, violin, and oboe solos within it and it was such a sad piece yet you can hear the hope for a better tomorrow weaving through the sadness. The piece ended with the cello solo and it was so sad, yet hauntingly beautiful that I was getting teary eyed. The rest of the concert was amazing as well, but the Requiem really made it for me.

Saturday, we went to watch Krutnava (a modern Slovak opera). It was, well, interesting to watch. It wasn't my favorite opera, but I thought the singing, orchestration, and the revolving stage was amazing. But something about it kept bugging me. I still don't know what, but maybe it's because I'm so used to the more classical operas that watching something composed in the 1950s caught me off guard. But at least the story line wasn't as confusing. Basically, there's a dead body found and it's the lover of this woman who ends up marrying the guy who killed her lover and he has to deal with his guilt (that's the one breath version of it). Also, it was sung in Slovak and German subtitles so all I ever understood from it was "My God!" and "Jesus Christ!" There was quite a lot of that.

We had also gotten a walking tour of the city and it was FREEZING. I love snow but when it's literally EVERYWHERE and you're constantly walking through slush....yeah......but I love the city nonetheless! (We also found a sushi restaurant across from the Japanese Embassy so if I ever come back and I want Japanese food, I know EXACTY where to go)

Luckily, Sunday (today) was pretty much our free day, since its our last day here in this gorgeous city. I also forgot to mention that it borders along the Danube River which is AWESOME. But anyways, we started off the morning with mass at Holy Trinity Church before breaking up to do our own thing. Eva (our courier) had set up an appointment for Sam, Serena, Erika, Maura, herself and I to have our feet eaten by fish. Literally. Don't worry, feet are intact, the dead skin cells are gone :) I'm not going to go into how much it tickled and how much freaking out we did for the first 10 minutes....

But afterward, Sam, Serena, and I went ice skating at the little ice rink at River Park behind the Kempinski hotel! It was free to get in and only 3€ to rent skates! Say WHAAAA???? We had quite a fun afternoon trying to not run over the little kids/parents and not be ran over by the guys speed racing around the rink.

But all in all, it was quite the experience to be here in Slovakia for the weekend and I really wish we could have spent a couple more days here. Plus this trip is going by WAY to fast. Well, until next time, I will update from Prague!!!!!!!!

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